up and down the SE Florida
coast - some summary of my favorites:
1. (by far). The West Palm Beach city dock
is FREE for day usage. It has water
, trash disposal, free trolley to excellent Publix, lots of places to eat from the budget
hamburger to dress up expensive dining. The tourists are polite, the police are ever present but never intrude. The dock is closed at night, I stay there anyway as they "look the other way" of festival and fireworks nights. When I am chased, the police start with, "pardon me captain
, this dock is closed at night. Is there any reason you can't conveniently move?" They have free music
once or twice a week - lots of places to walk, pet friendly.
2. Peanut Island - has access to more limited shopping
, very hard to find fresh water
- some free dinghy beach - and modest security
. Ok for a few days. Floating day dock with beach and nice places to walk and exercise.
3. North Lake Worth
- follow the ICW
South until it turns into the land cut toward Parker Bridge. Continue off the ICW
South, keeping Old Port Cove on your port side. Very good anchorage with moderate protection, Dinghy beach (fair, some theft) on the very South West side. Walk to Publix and excellent West Marine
. Good place if you need boat parts
4. South Beach area - very, very expensive. They will tow your dinghy if you tie up at any of the dinghy docks. Boater hostile area - $150/night for Miami
Beach Marina - and they are hostile also. But, best place to sight see tourism issues - lovely, excellent bicycle trail. Suggest you anchor at the North End of Miami
Beach and bicycle to South Beach
5. Marithon - this is the only place that is MOORING
ONLY - there is a limited anchorage, but they charge about the same for a dinghy dock as a mooring. Once moored, there is a large (300+) boat
community with everything you can imagine, pot luck, people to help, almost every boating
supply and a vibrant community of boaters. I lived on board there for 2 years - once on a mooring and one summer at a marina -- loved it.
6. Key West - nice for an occasional visit - both anchorage and mooring available, but far from the dinghy dock and over sometimes rough water. Good if you have a bigger dinghy and reasonable engine
- not so good with a small walker bay and oars. Key West is a lovely place to visit by boat.
Enjoy the Winter here - it may get by New England
standards, but overall it is lovely.